Pacific Northwest - Day 2 - Olympic Natl. Park - Lake Quinault, Ruby Beach, Hoh Rainforest
Olympic National Park Travel Blog› entry 954 of 1090 › view all entries
Olympic National Park is a very versatile National Park, located on the Olympic Peninsula, west of Tacoma and Seattle. It encompassed four totally different natural features: "regular" forests on the dry eastern side, beaches, sea life and coastal scenes on the western side, Alp-like mountains up to 2432 meters (7980 ft) high, with real glaciers, and on the wet western slopes temperate rain forests. So basically you can start on the beach, drive through a rain forest and end up on a freezing cold snow covered mountain within about an hour.
The park has an area of 373,380 ha (922,650 acres) which makes it about 68 times as large as the Hoge Veluwe National Park in The Netherlands, a bit more that half the province of Utrecht.
And we had only 2.
1) Lake Quinault:
See it here on the map. This south western section of the park gets an annual average of 333 centimeters (131 inches) of rain. The moist winds from the Pacific Ocean release their water when forced high over the Olympic mountain range. Basically the same idea as the trade winds on Hawaii.
Another feature we visited is the Anton Kestner Homestead. Kestner was an early settler from Germany who moved here in 1891 and built a farm. The farm is now inside the park and is being restored.
2) Ruby Beach:
See it here on the map. Ruby Beach, was our first impression of the coastal face of Olympic National Park.
3) Hoh Rain Forest:
See it here on the map. The Hoh rain forest is located in the Hoh Valley which was created by glaciers. The ice made place for abundant grow of vegetation creating one of the largest temperate rain forests in the US. Fed by the extreme moisture it has become a real jungle. Trees that are alive are covered in all kind of mosses, and trees that have perished become nutrition for new trees which grow on the so called nursery logs.
Despite being a travel day, we still had a lot of fun in the park and also got a great impressions of the diversity.
More pictures below. Deze fake-tekst heb ik toegevoegd om net iets meer regels te genereren zodat deze rare website toestaat dat de bijgesloten foto ook vertoond wordt.